November 22, 2017 – Wednesday in the 33rd Week of the Church Year

November 22, 2017 – Wednesday

Saint for the day: Cecilia (died 230?)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

2 Maccabees 7: 1, 20 – 31 – Psalm 17 – Luke 19:11- 28

In these days as we come to the end of our Church Liturgical Year we hear scriptures about the end times and Gospel passages about our accountability to the gifts that God has given us. Today we hear a variation of the “Parable of the Talents” and hear about a king who offers incredible possibilities to his servants. The first two servants take their gift and double it – just like the story of the talents – and are rewarded according to the “100 fold return.” The last one, out of fear, buried his gift and returned it just as it was given to him. In this story we have to be careful not to see it in “prosperity gospel terms” but, rather, in terms of how lavish God is with us and how even the tinniest hint of working with the gift, in a positive way, can win us salvation. I have to remember that God doesn’t expect me to be a “second Billy Graham” or a Kathryn Kuhlman. We’re only expected to allow the tinniest bit of His Grace to begin acting in our lives. In some ways this throws us back to the starting point where we first encounter the blessings of God in our lives. When the rich, young man asked Jesus, “Master, what must I do to be perfect?” (Matthew 22:36ff) Jesus shot back with another question: “What do you read in the scriptures?” The man, a faithful Jew, repeats the ”Shema Israel”- “to love the Lord with your whole heart and your neighbor as yourself. Most of us would be able to say that we sincerely try to love God; it’s loving our neighbor e.g. the people that we live and work with that gives most of us problems. Then, of course, there are those nameless, unknown people who occasionally cross the path into our lives. They need some touch of the love that God has given us. We look at this in terms of today’s Holy Gospel and see that the gifts God has lavished upon us are gifts that are to be shared. We are never “blessed” only in order for us to be rich in God’s wonders. That would be like the servant who went out and buried his gift. God blesses us in order for us to be able to share that with others who have not yet encountered the presence of God in their lives. Try to envision your Christian Life in terms of being given a spark of God’s wonder that you are able to share with people who only know a life of darkness. When I walk through St. Dominic’s Church in the afternoon I have, as my intention, to allow that light of Christ that has been lavished on me to lighten the burden of someone who has come into the church – perhaps in a last ditch attempt to find Christ. I can’t afford to miss an opportunity to share that light – even if it’s just by way of a, “Hello. How are you?” Sometimes I don’t even have to initiate the conversation. People just see me in my white Dominican habit and ask me to pray for them in a time of struggle. Even if God has only given you the ability to smile at people don’t bury it in a frown. Return it to them and see what happens. Amen

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